Buyers are accustomed to consulting reviews before they make purchases and expect to find them when researching products online. Those reviews are useful when making smaller purchases like sneakers or a new toothbrush, but are crucial as buyers research larger, more expensive purchases like software solutions for their business.
As a software vendor promoting products online, you're likely aware of just how important reviews are to the success of your business. You might even have a reviews recruitment campaign already in place — smart thinking. Has your campaign stalled? Have you collected a few reviews but aren’t sure what to do next? Here, I share a few pointers for vendors looking for help or inspiration to enhance reviews collection and take it to the next level.
Stay true to your brand
Your customers know your brand, and your review recruitment campaigns should match your brand voice and operational norms. Stay true to your messaging and communication style: Do you normally email customers once a week with account updates? Include requests for reviews in that email, using the same tone as your other copy. Find ways to incorporate requests for reviews that feel natural for your company. If your brand doesn’t have a social media account, don’t build one simply to recruit reviews. Users will notice tactics that fall outside of your brand voice or strategy, and that will make your requests feel forced or phony.
Keep a consistent collection schedule
Software buyers diligently search for recent reviews, and 71% of buyers want to read reviews published in the past six months. That means your teams need to make it a priority to collect reviews consistently. The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Add reviews collection to existing aspects of your marketing strategy. Add a link to recruitment forms in your marketing nurture streams. Include that same link in all team members’ email signatures. Recruiting reviews can’t be a one-time — or one-person — effort. Maintain consistent efforts to keep buyers engaged with your up-to-date reviews.
Leverage your team and link variation
Recruit reviews more effectively by leveraging all client-facing teams. We have helped thousands of software vendors recruit reviews over the years, and have heard impressive success stories from vendors that run internal contests and crown a winning representative or team who recruited the most reviews.
You can build your own internal competition with our new link variation tracking program. Add parameters to your link, and find which team member generates the most reviews over a set period of time. Link variation tracking can also help you fine-tune a reviews recruitment strategy. Tracking parameters allow you to easily tie reviews to specific channels and show whether social media, email or event review recruitment efforts are more effective for your business.
Stay focused and win at review recruitment
As buyers continue to rely on reviews at all stages of their purchase journey, it’s important to maintain momentum in your reviews-collection efforts. Get creative with your efforts and remain true to your brand to keep the task fun and worthwhile. Incorporate reviews requests into all of the existing parts of your business for an easy win and encourage healthy competition across teams for a more engaging strategy. No matter how you collect reviews, just remember to maintain those efforts throughout the year to keep up with buyer expectations and ensure you crush your review recruitment goals.
Find out how to get the most out of your customer reviews with our Reviews eBook.
Mark DiGiammarino is the Associate Director of Vendor Services for Gartner Digital Markets. He helped create, implement and scale Digital Markets’ Reviews as a Service (RaaS) program. When he’s not explaining the value of reviews, you can find him exploring Virginia’s wineries with his wife and their Goldendoodle, Howard. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.